Principles of Organizational Learning and Development

Principles of Organizational Learning and Development

By Rod Corbett

This book is a living collection of thoughts, reflections, challenges and resources from me and others to help the reader gain a better understanding of the principles that can be applied to develop learning and development opportunities and solutions in any workplace. This book is meant to serve as the primary textbook for learners who are studying how they can develop their own learning and development initiatives and support the development of others that they may be in a position to supervise, lead and support.

This work is organized into pages that deal with each individual principle of Organizational Learning and Development. The principles are numbered for convenience of referencing and listed in the table of contents or via The Principles link at the bottom of this page.  

The word and concept of a principle is used throughout this book. My working definition of the word principle is a fundamental assumption or understanding that is generally accepted and applicable to generic contexts in a valuable way. The focus of this book is on a number of principles that I have found to be valuable when applied in any organization and workplace context to enhance learning and development of the organization and any of its members.  

This work is organized into chapters that focus on presenting and exploring one principle each. The chapters are structured to help the reader gain a better understanding of the principles, following the Wiggins and McTighe model that describes the 6 Facets of Understanding. ("Understanding by Design," Wiggins and McTighe (1998))

I have also attempted to include many examples, stories, and links to other writings and presentations that reinforce these principles. I expect that this book will grow and develop in time as it is used with classes who give me feedback on it. I am also purposely authoring this book in this environment so that others can collaboratively develop it with me and I can share it freely with anyone who finds it useful through a Creative Commons license.  

The best way to get the most from this book is to do the following:

  • engage in its explanations, 
  • reflect on the stories, examples, anecdotes, and questions,
  • view the embedded videos and read the linked in articles, 
  • accept the challenges and tasks found throughout the chapters to practice applying and thinking about these principles. 
This is an electronic book authored by Rod Corbett for the purpose of helping you develop your leadership abilities in the field of organizational learning and development. I have made it available to the public through Creative Commons licensing. If you wish to make copies of this book, please attribute it to me, the original author. 
I began developing this book in 2014 with the latest revisions taking place in 2017.
This work was primarily prepared as a textbook for my Organizational Learning and Development course, which I have been teaching since 2013, but it is presented in a form that anyone interested in studying these principles may also benefit from working through the principles and challenges. 
This book is also formatted as a website for maximum accessibility, including mobile devices with small screens. It can also be printed by using the Print function in your web browser; however, there are many embedded videos on the pages that are only accessible online.

Your feedback is very welcomed to help me refine and improve this book. Please email me at with any feedback, comments, questions, and suggestions.  

If you are citing this work you could use the following: 

Corbett, R. (2017). Principles of Organizational Learning and Development. Retrieved from.... (whatever the URL of the page you are citing)...

Contents of this path: